Can Edna be happy ALONE in cage within coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cobrien, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA

    "Special Edna" is a handicapped chicken who had done well fending for herself in the flock without getting picked on for 3.5 years. She is not getting around as well as she used to and is starting to get picked on.

    Edna does not need a lot of room because she doesn't move around much. One option is to confine her to a smaller section of the covered run with her own house with visibility through chicken wire to the rest of the flock - either alone or with a docile friend or two. My dilemna is that if I give her a friend or two, the friends will be in a much smaller space than they otherwise would have. I'd rather not take a lot of space by dividing the secure run in 1/2 or 1/3. And I'd rather not confine a friend in a small space when I know they'd rather be running around in the big run.

    I know chickens need to have other chickens around to be happy. Are they 'happy enough' if they have visual contact with other chickens? Will she hate to sleep alone? The sleeping alone part seems like the major drawback.

    Culling / eating her is not an option here, as she is a pet. I know her one good leg may not hold out for much longer. I'd like to keep her as comfortable and happy as possible in her senior years.

    Thanks for any advice!!

  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I think so. I had a single hen that I had in an adjacent pen, with her own little house, for three weeks before introduction, and she seemed content enough. I would give them treats on adjacent sides of the wire, and I had roosting areas that were adjacent, so they could "roost together". I would give it a try and see how it works out.
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I have had to seperate ones in the same manner for various reasons and they always seemed pretty happy as long as they could see and talk to the others. The ones on the outside are always jealous and want a share of the singles treats.
  4. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    I have an Andalusian who has what I call avian cerebral palsey but really, she's crippled from an incubator problem. She gets along well with the other five birds in the flock even though she's mostly at the bottom of the pecking order. When they are about in the yard she wanders off on her own and doesn't seem to be real dependent upon them for support. When they roost, she always seems to be on the outside of the line, one side of the other.

    I think that she would be fine on her own if she needed to be. She's pretty independent.

  5. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks everyone!

    We will probably build a little place for her this weekend and try it out.


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